Business Formation

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Choose a Business Structure

When starting a business, you must decide which legal structure (business entity) to establish. Your form of business determines your personal liability regarding investments into your business, the amount of paperwork you have to file, and the taxes you have to pay.
View the comparison business Legal Structure table below. For more in depth details of each legal structure including entity features, filing guidelines, and estimated tax and withholding requirements, visit the California Franchise Tax Board.




LLC

  • Business Formation For LLC
  • EIN
  • Registered agent (1 Year)
  • Operating agreement
  • Compliance service
Estimated Total $499
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CORPORATE

  • Business Formation For Corporate
  • EIN
  • Registered agent (1 Year)
  • Bylaws
  • Compliance service
Estimated Total $499

CORPORATION FILING

NON-PROFIT

  • Business Formation For Non Profit Org.
  • EIN
  • Federal tax exemption 501c3
  • Permanent State tax exemption
  • Bylaws
  • State AG
  • w/National database of exempt organizations
  • Agent of service of process and compliance
  • Monitor regulatory agencies for any new policy or changes to section 501c3
  • Registered agent (1 Year)
Estimated Total $999
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CORPORATION FILING


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Sole Proprietorship

Legal StructureSole Proprietorship
Who Owns?"One" Individual
(Note: A husband and wife can be classified as a sole proprietorship)
Who Makes Management Decisions?Sole Proprietor has full control of management and operations
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State NO state filing requirement
Liability of Business DebtsSole Proprietor personally liable
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)Dissolved if entity ceases doing business or upon death of sole proprietor
TaxationNot a taxable entity, sole proprietor pays all taxes
Franchise Tax None
FTB Tax Forms
540
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
April 15

General Partnership

Legal StructureGeneral Partnership
Who Owns?General Partners; agreement between two or more parties
(Note: A business conducted by registered domestic partners must be classified as a partnership)
Who Makes Management Decisions?Each partner, unless otherwise arranged
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing is optional
Liability of Business DebtsPartners have unlimited liability
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)Dissolved automatically unless otherwise stated in partnership agreement
TaxationEach partner pays tax on share of income and can deduct losses against other sources of income
Franchise Tax None
FTB Tax Forms
565
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 4th Month

Limited Partnership

Legal StructureLimited Partnership
Who Owns?General and Limited Partners
Who Makes Management Decisions?General Partner(s) only (not limited partners, unless they serve on the board)
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing required
Liability of Business DebtsEach general partner has unlimited liability
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)Dissolved automatically unless otherwise stated in partnership agreement
TaxationFiles taxes as separate entity, must meet certain criteria to avoid being taxed as a corporation
Franchise Tax Annual Tax $800
FTB Tax Forms
565
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 4th Month

Limited Liability Partnership

Legal StructureLimited Liability Partnership
Who Owns?In California the use of LLP is limited to specific professional practice types (ie: architects, engineers, land surveyors, lawyers & accountants)s
Who Makes Management Decisions?All partners have the right to manage business directly
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing required
Liability of Business DebtsPartners are not responsible for the debts of LLP
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)Dependent on requirements imposed by state of formation
TaxationFiles taxes as a separate entity, must meet certain criteria to avoid being taxed as a corporation
Franchise Tax Annual Tax $800
FTB Tax Forms
565
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 4th Month

C Corporation

Legal StructureC Corporation
Who Owns?Shareholders
Who Makes Management Decisions?Managed by board of directors elected by shareholders
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing required
Liability of Business DebtsNo personal liability of shareholders
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)No effect, unless corporation is solely owned
TaxationTaxed at the entity level, taxed at corporate rates and individual tax rates of shareholders
Franchise Tax Minimum Franchise Tax $800
FTB Tax Forms
100
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 3rd Month

S Corporation

Legal StructureS Corporation
Who Owns?Shareholders
Who Makes Management Decisions?Managed by board of directors elected by shareholders
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing required
Liability of Business DebtsNo personal liability of shareholders
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)No effect, unless corporation is solely owned
TaxationIncome/loss passed through to shareholders
Franchise Tax Minimum Franchise Tax $800
FTB Tax Forms
100S
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 3rd Month

Limited Liability Company

Legal StructureLimited Liability Company
Who Owns?Members
Who Makes Management Decisions?Ordinarily members; or managers if manager - managed LLC
Entity Formation RequirementCalifornia Secretary of State filing required
Liability of Business DebtsLiability of Members; limited to their financial investments
Duration of Entity Existence (if owner departs)Dependent on the requirements imposed by the State of formation
TaxationCan be taxed as a corporation Income/loss is passed through members
Franchise Tax Minimum Tax $800
FTB Tax Forms
568 (Single Member/Partnership)
100 (Corporation)
100S (S Corporation)
Due Dates(Note: When the due date falls on a weekend or holiday, the deadline to file and pay without penalty is extended to the next business day.)
15th Day of the 4th Month

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